Chilly Mile Seeks Second Gallorette Win

The Gallorette Handicap (Grade 3)- $150.000 Purse
PIM- For Filles and Mares Three Years Old and Upward
One Mile And One Sixteenth On The Turf
May 16, 2015

The Gallorette Handicap provides a great opportunity for some of the best older female turf horses to race in front of a sold out crowd at PIM on PRK day.   This will be the eleventh time the race has won, and the list of past winners presents some names of trainers that may have been forgotten a little bit as they have moved on.  You will not see any greatly memorable horse names as past winners, as none of them eclipsed $1,000.000 in career earnings, a far cry from The Dixie Stakes, the equivalent race for males on Saturday.  That can change though, as 2013 winner Chilly Mile, who has the highest past earnings of any former winner at $977.980, is returning for the third consecutive year.    Let us meet her and the six others scheduled to go to the gate for this race!

#1- Canned Heat (Spankys Barn, ridden by J Pimentel)- A four year old filly by Nacho El Libre, who had a fantastic 2014 campaign, putting together a record of (7-3-2-1-0) against some of the best competition possible.   The highlight in that stretch was a win in the Grade 1 San Clemente Handicap at DMR in July, which would help her earn a berth in the BC Fillies & Mares Turf.  Unfortunately, her race there was forgettable, as she would not beat a single horse.  Following that race, the trainer opted to give her some rest, and Canned Heat would not race again until mid-February, where she would win an optional claimer.  Most recently, she appeared in the Grade 3 Las Cieneges Stakes in an attempt to cut her distance.  Canned Heat was fifth in that, and now returns here in what may be a pivotal race for her as far as trainer Spanky Barn is concerned to determine what her 2015 will hold for the rest of the year.

#2- Beholder (Robeth, ridden by J R Velazquez)- A winner of four out of five, Beholder has done well as his trainer has progressively moved her up the ladder.  The stretch began modestly, but has since gone on to include the $125.000 La Prevoyante Stakes at WO for ON-Breds, and then the Grade 3 My Charmer Handicap at CRC Handicap in November.   Most recently, she was victorious in a competitive open allowance at SA.   This is the type of race she has been successful in, and there is no reason to think that can not continue here, though I would have liked to see her workout on May 3rd be a little quicker, although since it was on dirt, it could be irrelevant to put much into it.

#3- Chilly Mile (Captinj, ridden by T Hole)- Chilly Mile has become a recent staple of the Gallorette Handicap.  In 2013, she would win the race while running for Saratoga Stud, who would auction her off four months later.  That didn’t stop her from returning in 2014, where she was made the pre-race favorite.  Chilly Mile led most of the way, but could not keep up late and would finish 3rd.  Now, then seven year old returns for another crack at it.   She is still running well, with a (3-1-1-1) record in her last three starts, all of which are against graded company.  That win was back in December, in the Grade 3 Frankel Stakes at SA.   Her works still show her to be in top form, and she will be a strong contender in this field.  No one else in this field is consistently matching her recent SRF’s, and as such, I will make her my selection.

#4- Lara Croft (Scorpion Stables, ridden by F Boyce)- This four year old filly by Plucky Mach looks to advance her career a notch as she attempts her first graded stake.  During 2014, she ran off a three-race winning streak, the third of which was the $75.000 Swingtime Stakes at SA in October.  Unfortunately, she could not carry that form in a similar ungraded stake, and she was sent back to allowance company.  In those last two races, she has a win and a second, and in the second place run, the race was won by the accomplished Baja Burrito, who won an ungraded stake right here at PIM last month.  All signs point to her being able to make this jump, and if her odds climb on race day, take a shot at her.  Her last win was at 35/1, after all.

#5- Thirlling Baby (Nakamura Stables, ridden by E Camacho)- Back in December, Nakamura Stables made an investment in this filly, picking her up for $89.010 in the auction from Alegria.  You will see bigger auction prices, of course, but so far Thirlling Baby has not justified that price.   She has won two of her three races, but in small fields of four and three, we all know there is not much of a return in that once nomination fees are considered.  This weekend, Thirlling Baby has the chance to finally, pay off.   To do so, she will have to run better then she did in her win in April, where she earned just an 88 SRF.  She has performed better in the past, so perhaps she just stepped down her game a little there.   Work times show that she is still in good form, so she should be able to get her SRF figures back in the upper 90’s again, which is what it will take to win.

#6- Miss Graceful (La Canada Racehorses, ridden by S Russell)- Like Thirlling Baby, Miss Graceful was also purchased in the December auction from Alegria, and for a similar price, of $81.050.   The difference is that it has paid off more for La Canada Racehorses as Miss Graceful went to SA just after New Years and captured the Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes, and would be a competitive third later that month in the Grade 3 Endeavor BC.  Most recently, she ran second in the Grade 3 Wilshire Stakes at SA about a month ago.  I was wavering between picking her or Chilly Mile to be my top pick, and opted for Chilly Mile due to her history in this race.  However, Miss Graceful does look to be her strongest challenger and has a fantastic shot to win this race.

#7- French Hottie (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by J R Leparoux)- Are you going to throw it out or not?  That of course, is the biggest question in evaluating French Hottie’s chances, and the race in question is her most recent race.  That was right here at PIM last month where she finished last and was nine lengths back in the ungraded Dahlia Stakes.  For a trainer like D J C Racing Stables to put her back in this race after that certainly points to the fact that he knows exactly why French Hottie didn’t show up last month.  If you are also willing to throw it out, chances are you may get a high price on her race day that could result in a very rewarding pay out.  After all, if she’s on her game, she can win.  Will you take that chance?

Prediction: 3-6-7-2


— NS

Categories: Grade III

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